Dominating Modern with NeoBrand

Cristian Ortiz Ros

Cristian Ortiz Ros

Introduction

Hello again everyone! Today I am excited to talk about the only Modern deck which is capable of winning a game in the first turn! Yes, yes, it is real, its name is… NeoBrand!

Before I start telling my experience with the deck, I would like to highlight my teammate Pascal Vieren’s article about this strategy, which talks about it in a more mathematical and different way. I highly recommend it!

Functioning of the Strategy

Allosaurus RiderNeoformEldritch EvolutionGriselbrand

Well, let’s try to explain it in a simple way. Our plan is to cast an 《Allosaurus Rider》 exiling two other green cards in our hand without paying its mana cost and then playing a 《Neoform》 or 《Eldritch Evolution》 sacrificing our dinosaur and looking for 《Griselbrand》.

Nourishing ShoalAutochthon WurmSummoner's Pact

With the powerful demon we can draw seven or fourteen cards immediately. Yes, we lose seven life for each activation but 《Nourishing Shoal》 compensates for the loss perfectly. It is where 《Autochthon Wurm》 shines and 《Summoner’s Pact》 is the perfect ally to find all our green creatures.

Simian Spirit GuideWild CantorManamorphoseLaboratory Maniac

Once we have casted the sufficient number of 《Nourishing Shoal》, we are able to draw whole library with 《Griselbrand》. When we have six or less cards in the library we can exile three 《Simian Spirit Guide》 with 《Wild Cantor》 or 《Manamorphose》 to cast our MVP 《Laboratory Maniac》 to close the game with a final 《Griselbrand》 activation. Easy right?

I would like to highlight that this strategy is stable and playable thanks to the London Mulligan. Having the option to always look at seven cards in each mulligans is an obvious advantage for the deck.

My Outstanding Results with the Strategy

Force of NegationInquisition of Kozilek

This archetype is the best option in a metagame where 《Force of Negation》 goes unnoticed and discarded strategies are not played enough (although the latter strategy is easier to deal with than any control deck with blue).

As an example that the deck is quite well positioned at the moment, I am going to show you several results of my Magic Online (MTGO) in these last weeks.

Modern Showcase Challenge in MTGO on 25/01/2020 with 105 Players

Round Against Result
Round 1 NeoBrand 2-0
Round 2 RW Prison 2-0
Round 3 Burn 2-0
Round 4 Titanshift 2-0
Round 5 Titan Field 1-2
Round 6 Mono-Red Blitz 2-0
Round 7 Dredge 2-1

Note of the Round 5: opponent countered my 《Neoform》 with 《Mystical Dispute》 on my turn two on the play.

Round Against Result
Quarterfinals Eldrazi Tron 2-0
Semifinals Amulet Titan 1-2

Note of the Semifinals: game three on the draw and opponent casts 《Grafdigger’s Cage》 on their second turn and I couldn’t fight it.

Anyway, I was happy with the result, the deck worked perfectly.

Here is the list used in the event:

Pact of Negation

-2

Slaughter Pact

-1


Mystical Dispute

+2

Repeal

+1

The list was very good, solid main and a decent sideboard, but after finish the event I thought about change some cards in the sideboard: -2 《Pact of Negation》, -1 《Slaughter Pact》. Adding +2 《Mystical Dispute》, +1 《Repeal》 (because I didn’t use Pacts during the tournament).

Modern Leagues in MTGO on 28/01/2020

10-0 with two trophies in a row.

Round Against Result
Round 1 Grixis Whirza 2-1
Round 2 Amulet Titan 2-0
Round 3 Mono-Red Blitz 2-0
Round 4 Eldrazi Tron 2-0
Round 5 Titan Field 2-0
Round 6 Tron 2-1
Round 7 Jund 2-1
Round 8 Gifts Storm 2-1
Round 9 Amulet Titan 2-1
Round 10 WB Eldrazi Taxes 2-1

Note that the pairings are quite favorable, except Jund, Gifts Storm and WB Eldrazi Taxes, but we manage a strategy that can be won in the first or second turn, so any matchup is winnable.

Here is the list used in these ten rounds:

Pact of NegationSerum Visions

At this point, after playing so many rounds and leagues I was clear about one thing and I really did not see it useful to play 《Pact of Negation》 in the maindeck despite the good results. However, adding the third copy of 《Serum Visions》 gives us more consistency.

Dissenter's DeliveranceSlaughter Pact

As for the sideboard, I wanted to cut 《Repeal》 because four copies of 《Dissenter’s Deliverance》 are just good enough to deal with artifact hate cards like 《Chalice of the Void》 / 《Damping Sphere》 / 《Grafdigger’s Cage》 and 《Slaughter Pact》 is better against hate bears like 《Thalia, Guardian of Thraben》 / 《Leonin Arbiter》.

Modern Leagues in MTGO on 02-04/02/2020

15-0 with three trophies in a row.

Round Against Result
Round 1 Amulet Titan 2-1
Round 2 Dredge 2-0
Round 3 Titan Field 2-1
Round 4 Titanshift 2-1
Round 5 Amulet Titan 2-0
Round 6 Amulet Titan 2-1
Round 7 Jund 2-1
Round 8 Dredge 2-0
Round 9 RG Ponza 2-1
Round 10 Burn 2-0
Round 11 Burn 2-1
Round 12 Titan Field 2-1
Round 13 Tron 2-0
Round 14 UB Mill 2-0
Round 15 Burn 2-1

In these fifteen rounds, except Jund and UB Mill, all other pairings are very favorable.

I am going to post the list which I used in the last five rounds since it barely varied cards and that also continues to be my current list today, which I will also use for the sideboard guide.

Spell Pierce

As you can see at the main base of the deck, we continue playing the stock list so far, but with the addition of a third 《Serum Visions》, as I have already highlighted above. In the sideboard we leave out the two copies of 《Mystical Dispute》 to add two copies of 《Spell Pierce》, since in my opinion the latter is much more versatile in different situations.

Pact of NegationLeyline of Sanctity

We also increase the number of 《Pact of Negation》 to three and cut one 《Leyline of Sanctity》. We should run full playset of 《Leyline of Sanctity》 when discard strategy and/or Burn decks pop up but now I don’t think we need four.


Before giving way to the sideboard guide, I want to talk about a card that is also a valuable addition to our deck and that also gives us the option of victory in the final touch of the game.

New Addition from Theros Beyond Death

Thassa's Oracle

With this new acquisition we would win the game by its entering the battlefield trigger. We have a possibility to cut 《Laboratory Maniac》 since playing two CMC combo piece instead of three sounds great. Though, (U)(U) cost can be harmful and the set up for 《Thassa’s Oracle》 is much harder than 《Laboratory Maniac》 because we should keep our library size exactly less than Devotion to Blue (usually two). While it is a completely viable option and there are even lists that are already using it, in my case I continue opting for 《our MVP》.

And now, it is time to know how to face the different pairings that this format provides us.

Sideboard Guide

Mono-Red Blitz

No changes.

Amulet Titan

Against Amulet Titan

Out

Serum Visions Serum Visions Serum Visions
Edge of Autumn

In

Dissenter's Deliverance Dissenter's Deliverance Dissenter's Deliverance Dissenter's Deliverance

Jund

Against Jund (On the Play)

Out

Serum Visions Serum Visions Serum Visions

In

Veil of Summer Veil of Summer
Dissenter's Deliverance

Against Jund (On the Draw)

Out

Serum Visions Serum Visions Serum Visions

In

Leyline of Sanctity Leyline of Sanctity Leyline of Sanctity

Eldrazi Tron

Against Eldrazi Tron

Out

Serum Visions Serum Visions Serum Visions
Edge of Autumn

In

Dissenter's Deliverance Dissenter's Deliverance Dissenter's Deliverance Dissenter's Deliverance

Dredge

No changes.

Bant Snowblade

Against Bant Snowblade

Out

Serum Visions Serum Visions Serum Visions

In

Pact of Negation Pact of Negation Pact of Negation

Titan Field

Against Titan Field

Out

Serum Visions Serum Visions Serum Visions
Edge of Autumn

In

Dissenter's Deliverance Dissenter's Deliverance Dissenter's Deliverance Dissenter's Deliverance

Grixis Death’s Shadow

Against Grixis Death’s Shadow (On the Play)

Out

Serum Visions Serum Visions

In

Veil of Summer Veil of Summer

Against Grixis Death’s Shadow (On the Draw)

Out

Serum Visions Serum Visions Serum Visions

In

Leyline of Sanctity Leyline of Sanctity Leyline of Sanctity

Humans

Against Humans (On the Play)

Out

Serum Visions

In

Slaughter Pact

Against Humans (On the Draw)

Out

Serum Visions Serum Visions Serum Visions

In

Dissenter's Deliverance Dissenter's Deliverance
Slaughter Pact

Tron

Against Tron

Out

Serum Visions Serum Visions Serum Visions
Edge of Autumn

In

Dissenter's Deliverance Dissenter's Deliverance Dissenter's Deliverance Dissenter's Deliverance

UW Control

Against UW Control

Out

Edge of Autumn Life Goes On Wild Cantor
Chancellor of the Tangle Chancellor of the Tangle

In

Pact of Negation Pact of Negation Pact of Negation
Veil of Summer Veil of Summer

Burn

Against Burn (On the Play)

Out

Serum Visions Serum Visions Serum Visions

In

Dissenter's Deliverance Dissenter's Deliverance Dissenter's Deliverance

Against Burn (On the Draw)

Out

Serum Visions Serum Visions Serum Visions

In

Leyline of Sanctity Leyline of Sanctity Leyline of Sanctity

NeoBrand Mirror

Against NeoBrand

Out

Serum Visions Serum Visions

In

Spell Pierce Spell Pierce

Tips

Conclusion

And again, we arrive at the moment of the farewell, which is getting harder and harder, since I enjoy writing about my daily knowledge with all of you and as always, I hope to be here again very soon.

Once again, give my sincere thanks to the entire Hareruya team for the opportunity and support they give me to be here enjoying each of my articles.

Many thanks also to the person who supports me daily and inspires me and who makes me want to always be a better player, yes, again it is you, D.

And now I would like to dedicate this article to one of the best athletes of all time, who continues motivating and exciting many people with their past plays even if he is gone now, thank you with all my heart dear Kobe Bryant. 8/24.

As always, if you have any questions, I will be happy to answer you on social networks.

Cristian (Twitter / Twitch)

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Cristian Ortiz Ros

Cristian Ortiz Ros Cristian Ortiz Ros is a veteran player from Spain. He is a Modern enthusiast and well known as an expert of the format especially his hallmark deck; Living End. He became the finalist of the Grand Prix Copenhagen 2017 with it and he finally won the whole thing at the Grand Prix Madrid 2017 with UR Storm. Also, Cristian is very famous on Magic Online and surprisingly, he did earn 38 trophies in a cycle and he finished that cycle as a trophy leader. Read more articles by Cristian Ortiz Ros